Prime Rib Roast

So, today is Yule.  In the wee hours of this morning, the moon appeared at its highest peak in the sky, and was then completely eclipsed for the first time on a winter solstice since about 1638 or so (there seems to be some disagreement among historians here).  It’s very fitting that amid the coupling of light and darkness is a coupling of masculine and feminine energies.  It makes me feel very festive, and renewed.

This is the last installment of my “What I Made for Yule Dinner” series, what I affectionately refer to as “the roast beast.”  I made a prime rib roast, and it was fantastic.  I don’t typically toot my own horn, but this entrée, well,  I nailed it.  Prime rib doesn’t have to be scary at all, it’s actually a quite simple process of seasoning and roasting meat.  There are a million suggestions as to how to get from hunk of raw meat to serving plate, this is the method I use and it works well every time.  It makes a nice seasoned crust on the outside, and such a tender inside.

One thing to consider when making prime rib is that a standing (bone-in) rib roast is more flavorful than a rolled (bones removed) rib roast.  Also, you’ll get about two portions per rib (in other words, a 4 rib roast will serve 8 people).  Cooking a roast isn’t about time as much as minimum internal temperature.  I strongly advise using a meat thermometer and removing the roast between 120 and 160 degrees (I know, 120 is not the minimum recommended temperature for beef, but the purists out there will say that 120 is overdone for prime rib.  You win some, you lose some, and it’s my blog and I’ll cook to medium-well if I want to . . .).  Prime rib is typically served closer to rare than well-done, but using a lower temperature allows you to cook the meat more without it shrinking and drying out.  For those of you that are time-hounds, I will say that using the 325 degree temperature I recommend for most of the cooking process, the roast will take 20 minutes per pound for rare, 25 minutes per pound for medium, and 30 minutes per pound for well-done.

Prime Rib Roast


  • a standing prime rib roast (weight dependent on number of servings needed, 2 servings per rib)
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil


Pat the roast dry with paper towels and allow the roast to stand at room temperature for one hour.

Coat a cast iron pan or Dutch oven large enough to fit the roast with olive oil.  Heat the pan over high heat.

Sear all sides of the roast by putting the roast into the skillet or Dutch oven and allow it to sit for 3 minutes per side, until all sides are seared.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder onto roast as desired to season.

Place the roast into a roasting pan fitted with a rack.

Roast for approximately 25 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 150 degrees. I suggest using a probe thermometer that can stay in the roast while it cooks, and using temperature and not time as a guide.  I can’t stress this enough.

Remove the roast and cover in foil.  Allow to sit, covered, for 30 minutes before slicing.

To make a gravy, pour the pan juices into a saucepan, add 1/2 C. of beef stock and 1/2 C. red wine, simmer for several minutes and strain.


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